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Good cheap VoIP?

Last response: in Networking
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February 14, 2010 3:22:08 PM

I like Magicjack for the price, but having to leave the computer on sucks. Just wanting Local, Long distance & Caller ID. Not going to make lots of calls, no home based business or anything.

More about : good cheap voip

February 15, 2010 10:12:55 PM

I've been using Ooma for about 6 months now and it is great. Somewhat high initial cost (about $200) but great voice quality.
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February 17, 2010 5:06:14 AM

I'm using OOMA as well for past 4 months. Works fine. I had Vonage before that for almost 4 years. It worked well too, but was costing >$300/yr. OOMA is free for the basic service and does everything I need. Only wish it supported call forwarding w/ the free service, but I've learned to live without it.
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February 17, 2010 2:52:04 PM

Cool, so the free service has Long distance & caller ID right?
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February 17, 2010 4:09:22 PM

P.S. The older technology is called Hub and Scout (what I have) and literally involves no fees. However, OOMA recently introduced its new Telo technology, which will cost a bit more for the hardware (and obviously adds some new features), but will also cost you ~$12/yr for some fees (don't recall exactly what for, maybe 911), so it's not 100% free in that case. Not that $12 is a big deal, but just something to note. Most ppl are plenty happy w/ the older Hub and Scout (myself included) and you can often find the best deals on this older equipment.
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February 18, 2010 2:42:46 PM

I don't call outside the country. Any certian way to hook it up or can I go modem>router>hub & PC? I have DDWRT, how should I set it up in DDWRT?
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February 18, 2010 11:36:20 PM

edward78 said:
I don't call outside the country. Any certian way to hook it up or can I go modem>router>hub & PC? I have DDWRT, how should I set it up in DDWRT?


The OOMA installation guide will instruct you to install as …

[modem]<-wire-->[ooma]<--wire-->[router]

This give OOMA priority through physical configuration rather than software (QoS). IOW, anything not intended for OOMA is just passed through. That will certainly work, but on the downside, now the OOMA is being assigned the public IP from your provider. And it may complicate your network configuration if say you need to use a VPN, port forward for gaming, etc. To be fair, it’s possible that OOMA is wide open and won’t cause a problem. But personally I prefer having my router receive the public IP.

To be honest, I don’t believe most ppl actually need to have OOMA in front of the router. I’ve been using VOIP for quite some time and I’ve never had a problem w/ any VOIP adapter being behind the router. Then again, I’m not running downloads all day, loaded up on torrents 24/7, etc., either. It just hasn’t been a problem for *me*. And if your router supports QoS (as dd-wrt does), you can mitigate the problem to some degree.

IMO, OOMA recommends the device be placed between the modem and router for their own convenience, not yours. It cuts down on tech support calls from the 5% of ppl that would otherwise be complaining given their unusually heavy network usage. But that makes it INCONVENIENT for the rest of us. Heck, my cable modem is in a back room, upstairs, but I want the adapter downstairs next to my cordless phone’s base station. By placing the OOMA behind the router, you gain much more flexibility. At least you can locate the device within the reach of an Ethernet cable. And if you prefer (as I do), use a wireless Ethernet bridge so you can place it just about ANYWHERE!

Regarding the hookup of the device itself (assuming we’re talking about the Hub and Scout), there are several ports on the back (wall, phone, modem, and home). Again, I have the device configured so that it’s behind the router. In addition (and this is optional), the phone signal out of OOMA is being redirected into the home’s phone wiring (rather than directly into a phone) using a nearby RJ11 jack, and the network connection is to my wireless router using a wireless Ethernet bridge. Obviously you could choose to connect your OOMA directly to a phone and/or use wired Ethernet, if you prefer.

So here’s what mine looks like (note, (modem) and (phone) represent the ports used on the back of the OOMA device):

[cable modem]<--wire-->[wireless router]<--wireless-->[wireless ethernet bridge]<--wire-->(modem)[ooma](phone)<--phone wire-->[wall outlet]<--internal phone wiring-->[wall outlet]<--phone wire-->[cordless phone (base station)]

It looks complicated, but that’s just because of the bridge and use of home wiring. A simplified example might make things easier to understand:

[cable modem]<--wire-->[wireless router]<--wire-->(modem)[ooma](phone)<--phone wire-->[phone]

NOTE: if you want to run OOMA through your home’s phone wiring, I recommend you go to the phone junction box on the outside of your home and disconnect the line(s) running from the street and into the home’s phone wiring. That way there’s no chance any voltage is present on the home’s phone wiring (which might damage the adapter).

Note that OOMA is more than just a VOIP adapter. The Hub is a message center, while the Scout extends the phone signal AND message center to remote phones via your home wiring. And yes, you can add more Scouts as you see fit.

Personally I have no interest in OOMA as a message center, and by extension, have no interest in the Scout. I just use my cordless phone’s message center to manage my calls. But if you’re interested in the Hub and Scout as your message center, you would need to run another phone wire from the Hub (using the Wall port on the back of the Hub) and likewise run a phone wire in another room to the Scout. But if you’re like most ppl, you’ll probably never bother. In fact, many ppl just resell the Scout on eBay.

Anyway, hopefully that gives you some feel for the device and setup. It’s never going to be completely clear until you try it and have to deal w/ some configuration issues.

If you run into specific problems, just ask.


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February 23, 2010 12:22:57 PM

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February 23, 2010 11:38:59 PM

Quote:
I like Magicjack for the price, but having to leave the computer on sucks


I know this defeats the purpose of cheap, but you could look in to a netbook or something for your computer. They are quiet and don't need that much power to run. And it is wireless so you can set it up anywhere. And it has a battery back up, you just need to get your router (or what ever supplys the internet) on a battery back up and you can still have access to a phone if the power goes out.
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March 5, 2010 3:54:34 AM

edward78 said:
I like Magicjack for the price, but having to leave the computer on sucks. Just wanting Local, Long distance & Caller ID. Not going to make lots of calls, no home based business or anything.


Onesuite VoIP service works with an ATA device so you don't need a computer to make and receive calls. You can get your own ATA (around $30 to $40) or just borrow an old one from a friend. Onesuite VoIP is a prepaid, no contract service at $2.95/monthly with unlimited incoming calls. Calling out is 2.5c/min to US numbers and 1.9c/min to Canadian numbers.

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May 6, 2010 3:51:35 AM

I've been using RingCentral for my business phone system as well as Mobile VoIP ringcentral for my personal use and it works fine.
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July 13, 2010 8:55:17 AM

Best answer selected by buwish.
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July 21, 2010 4:39:26 AM

buwish said:
Best answer selected by buwish.

n
nHow's your experience with Ooma? How much did you shell out? I'm looking for a back up for my Onesuite VoIP service and was thinking Ooma might be the perfect back up for me.
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